Monday, December 14, 2009

Something’s Not Right

I knew there was disparity between men reading fiction and women reading fiction, but I didn’t really see the situation for what it is until I saw a statistic the other day. Publisher’s Weekly was quoted as saying that of all fiction sold, 55% was bought by woman and 45% was bought by men. I really expected the gap to be much wider. Walk into any Christian bookstore and you’ll see a sea of pink. Walk into nearly any bookstore and books for women will get preferential treatment. Look at the faces of most authors and you’ll see a lot of makeup. Talk to most men and you’ll hear them say, “I read more non-fiction than I do fiction.” Put that together and the picture you’ll get is that fiction is primarily a woman thing. We’re going all out to sell fiction to woman and still men buy 45% of the fiction sold. On top of that, many men don’t buy fiction because they read whatever their wives have around the house.

Consider that there are millions of book buyers in America. Now, if we take 45% of that, millions of those book buyers are men. It makes you wonder why publishers aren’t doing more to attract a male audience.

Question: What do you think? If publishers turned their focus toward men, do you think men would buy more books than women or is the gap going to be the same no matter what they do?

1 comment :

arlee bird said...

I'm thinking in regard to how you described it that men probably tend to buy more online, while women prefer the tangible experience of looking and shopping. For me, when I want a book I know what I looking for and is really easy to go to Amazon or the like, order (usually for a better price), and just have it delivered. I usually prefer not to spend time in a store(although I can make an exception for book stores if I do go to a store). So to answer your question I don't think things would change that much because I do think more men read non-fiction or do things other than read.